What can I do if the abuser violates the order?
If the abuser violates the order, you can call the police, even if you think it is a minor violation. It can be a crime and contempt of court if the abuser violates the order in any way. A judge can punish someone for being in contempt of court. An abuser can be arrested, fined, jailed and ordered to participate in counseling or other appropriate programs.1 You may file civil contempt charges against the abuser for violating the OFP, even if the police don’t make an arrest or file criminal charges. Civil charges may be filed in the same court that issued your order.
It is generally a good idea to write down the name of the responding officer(s) and their badge number in case you want to follow up on your case. It is also important to have a copy of the order with you at all times.
Make sure a police report is filled out, even if no arrest is made. If you have legal documentation of all violations of the order, it may help you have the order extended or modified.
For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our general Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.
1 MN Code § 518B.01(14)